Release: President Forever 2012 v. 1.2.5

President Forever 2012 v. 1.2.5 has been released. This fixes a few bugs, adds the Libertarian party’s Gary Johnson for 2012, and adds a few features to the Main Map, among other things.

What we’re working on next: A button to set Surrogates to automatic among other things.

To update:

Version information:

46 thoughts on “Release: President Forever 2012 v. 1.2.5”

  1. Gov. Johnson starting at under 2% in NM. Every poll in that state has had him between 5% and 10% in his home state. Might want to look at that.

  2. Actually he’s polled as high as 13% there (and I think 15% this past Spring). Also has at times posted low double digits in Ohio and Colorado, though nationally he is usually between 4-6% lately. Most 3rd party candidates poll okay early on and then fall off in the last couple months, but his numbers have remained pretty consistent. Admittedly that could change with the debates since that’s free press for the major candidates, but the game should have his best states be Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and New Mexico at least (CO and OR because of ballot initiatives on pot legalization this year that bring out his supporters, NM obviously is his home state, and AK traditionally is very good to libertarians – in 1980 Ed Clark received 11% as the 4th party candidate).

  3. I like the game so far. I do have several suggestions, though.

    1. Santorum should be stronger. He came in second in the primaries, yet it’s nearly impossible for him to win in the game.

    2. I would like to see the primaries treated like election day, where you see the votes as they’re coming in.

    3. I would like issues to matter more depending on your candidates views compared to that of the state he/she is speaking in.

    4. I would also like to see more with demographics (women, african americans, hispanics, young voters, Mormons, etc.)

    5. I think Santorum should be added to the 2016 scenario, as well as Susana Martinez and Scott Walker. Two democrats I think should be added to 2016 would be Joe Biden and Brian Schweitzer.

    6. I think endorsers should also be affected by issues. For example: a strong conservative would be more likely to endorse Santorum or Gingrich as opposed to Romney (and vice versa with moderates).

    7. Finally, I think there should be more specific traits of each candidate. Gingrich can be good in debates which can result in a boost in the polls, but he has trouble sustaining a surge. Romney and Santorum are fairly consistent in maintaining their base and sustaining surges. Paul is good at keeping his base, but has trouble expanding beyond that. I think specifics like this could make the game more realistic and interesting.

  4. I had Bachmann and Hilary Clinton run against Gary Johnson. I set the difficulty level to “hard”. I played as Bachmann and Clinton and let the computer play as Johnson. I had Bachmann and Clinton switch political platforms and not campaign. Gary Johnson still got only 6% of the vote (33% of voters were undecided on election day).

    I understand that only a fraction of the US would ever become Libertarian, but I think in this situation, he’d still get about 25% of the vote. However, only 250,000 people are registered libertarians.

  5. Let’s be real, Gary Johnson is only going to get 1-2% nationwide if he’s lucky. He’s not participating in any of the debates (he was a poor debater anyway) and he has no infrastructure or money. Thinking that he’s a Perot is a pipe dream no matter how weak our two party system is.

  6. I agree with Peterson that the primary results should report the way election day votes do too (and I still wish the game would call states before all the vote is in like with Pforever 2008.)

    I also agree with Peterson on the suggestion with demographics. There also should be exit polls right before the election results come in showing how each candidate did with the demographics.

  7. @Alec, “I still wish the game would call states before all the vote is in like with Pforever 2008”


  8. @Jonathan re: Johnson,

    Hmm … I think this sort of situation would be better modeled using an underlying favorability rating. Right now, party affiliation has a strong role in gaining voters, and since Johnson is in another party, it is relatively difficult to get any of the undecideds.

  9. @Peterson,

    Thanks for the feedback. A couple of notes:

    “I think endorsers should also be affected by issues. For example: a strong conservative would be more likely to endorse Santorum or Gingrich as opposed to Romney (and vice versa with moderates).”

    This is already the case. Platform distance from the endorser’s position makes it more difficult to get their endorsement.

    “Finally, I think there should be more specific traits of each candidate. Gingrich can be good in debates which can result in a boost in the polls, but he has trouble sustaining a surge. Romney and Santorum are fairly consistent in maintaining their base and sustaining surges. Paul is good at keeping his base, but has trouble expanding beyond that.”

    This is already modeled to an extent in the game, with starting percentages for the candidates being set for ‘committed’ and ‘leaning’ voters. Gingrich already has debate-relevant attributes that make it easier for him to win debates, which in turn gives significant boosts in momentum.

  10. @Matt and ICX,

    Thanks for this. I’ve increase Johnson’s numbers in those states in the latest internal.

  11. Playing as Bachmann in 2012 scenario,

    I got 888 votes,
    Romney got 942 votes,
    Gingrich got 432 votes.

    And after Utah primaries, Gingrich declared his withdrawal in primary.
    So I thought, Bachmann could be nominated at convention.
    But however, the next day, the spin news said, Romney clinched the nomination!
    I thought something was wrong so i waited until convention.
    And Romney got nominated with majority.
    I think this is bug, right? It should be brookered convention, because no one has absolute majority. And because this game takes a lot of time indeed, this type of bug makes me annoying.

    Hope you fix this bug. However, great primary. It was really tight primary. Thanks.

  12. (1.2.4, but not on 1.2.5 changelog)
    I noticed a lot of 2012 Republican primaries are FPP when they should be PR, and there are a couple that are PR with a 50% threshold (which is effectively FPP). I used Wikipedia to fix some of them (imperfectly, I admit), but I’m sure my changes will be overridden when I download 1.2.5.

  13. One more thing:

    Some Republican PR primaries have a 0% threshold. While this may be accurate, it results in these primaries scattering delegates to candidates who have already dropped out. I gave them a 1% threshold; I thought it might be a good idea for the next patch.

  14. I was playing as Santorum in 2012. I got everyone to drop out except Romney and Perry. I was trying to get Perry to drop out before Super Tuesday so that I could get a boost. I finally got him to drop out a few days before Super Tuesday, and it resulted in a huge Romney surge. I think Santorum was made too weak, and Gingrich and Romney were made too strong.

  15. I was playing as Santorum in 2012. I got everyone to drop out except Romney and Perry. I was trying to get Perry to drop out before Super Tuesday so that I could get a boost. I finally got him to drop out a few days before Super Tuesday, and it resulted in a huge Romney surge. I think Santorum was made too weak, and Gingrich and Romney were made too strong. Gingrich only won two states in the primaries, and even though Romney did win the nomination, there was great opposition to him among voters. And as I mentioned above, Santorum came in second in the primaries, yet he is almost consistently last here. I would just like the candidates to be as strong as they were in the primaries.

    Also, thank you for the corrections above on points 6 and 7.

  16. I noticed that sometimes, when you take a more convservative candidate, ie Gingrich or Santorum, and put them against Romney, like mentioned above, the vote always goes to Romney, which doesn’t make sense, because Gingrich and Santorum have similar positions on issues, more-so than Romney would.

  17. @Ken No, as I said Gingrich just withdrawed from the campaign, not endorsed any candidate – Bachmann or Romney. The pop-up message said “Gingrich withdraw from the race.” Gingrich’s delegates number remained still, even after he withdrawed. So Romney’s delegates number didn’t reached majority nor Bachmann. Nothing changed except the fact that Gingrich withdrawed. (Of course, in the remaining primaries, Gingrich got 0% of the vote, but in the past primaries, Gingrich still had the delegates as he had before withdrawing from the race) But regardless of it, the news spin said, Romney reached majority.

    Is this bug (recognizing withdrawal as endorsement or fail to show redistribution of the delegates count after one candidate’s withdrawal?) or did he indeed endorsed romney even the pop-up message said “Gingrich withdraw from the race.”? It’s confusing.

  18. Also, I had an idea, for endorsers/surrogates. You could add some random celebrities who only have fundraising power (George Clooney, Ted Nugent, etc), and also, you could add the media outlets who endorse you as spin-only surrogates.

  19. Any plans to expand the third parties more in the next update? I believe that Virgil Goode (Constitution Party) and Jill Stein (Green Party) both will be on enough ballots to at least be mathematically eligible for 270 Electoral College votes.

  20. @anthony_270admin:

    Can you please answer me,

    When are you going to make President forever 2012 avaible for MAC? thanks

  21. @anthony_270admin

    Comments and Suggestions for Next Update (mostly having to do with AI)

    1. AI Spending money: The AI seems to be needlessly thrifty with money, in many of my games the AI (regardless of candidate or party) ended up with 60+million or more of their federal grant at the end of the election, this seems like a bug that needs fixing

    2. AI federal grants: It also seems that in all of my games (again regardless of party or candidate) the AI accepts the federal block grant, even though they will have more money than the grant by turning the grant now. I would think that if cash on hand + party funds > federal block grant the AI candidate should turn it down and keep the greater sum

    3. News impact of primaries: I noticed that the news impact of primaries is usually set at 1. This makes sense for an unchallenged incumbent (e.g. Barack Obama in Dem primaries) but for contested primaries in the real world the winners dominate the news cycle for days, far greater than an individual debate performance. I think that adding weight to primary wins would go a long way to fixing the lack of momentum some people here have referenced for candidates like Huntsman and Santorum

    4. Money amount too small: This point is more minor, but it appears that the overall amounts of money in play seem out of step with reality, and can be corrected. For example, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are both on track to raise more than $750 million this election, and even with voracious fundraising I have never raised half that, I think that background fundraising needs to be higher, fundraisers need to raise more, and everything should cost more to compensate.

  22. @Noemi,

    Thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately, we currently don’t have plans to create a Mac version of our games. Please note that you can run them using Bootcamp or Leopard (and a copy of Windows) for Macs.

  23. I mentioned this a few releases ago, when barnstorming in a state it still says that the surrogates/candidate is barnstorming in the state they previously visited.

  24. Among the endorsers Jay Nixon is a Democrat but listed as center-right, when pressing on the details button for John de Jongh an error message comes up, the Gov of Oregons name is has his first and last name together and I think that Govs like Schweitzer of Montana should be listed as a centrist, still being a democrat though.

  25. A couple more things re: Gary Johnson – his platform should be adjusted so as to be a bit more accurate as well as make the game more fun to play. If he’s pretty close to Romney it’s not as enjoyable. On military spending, while he talks about keeping the US military as the strongest in the world, he’s made it clear in the past that the DoD would still be subject to his 43% across the board cut to federal departments, and also makes the statement “peace is cheaper” on his website. So even if its somewhat right-wing rhetoric, his support for budget cuts should set his default position at left on the spectrum (maybe even far left, but probably left). Also regarding gay marriage he has said directly that it is a constitutional right – which is set as a left position in the game. Finally on immigration his position is to make it easier for immigrants to get a visa, so he should probably be center left or left in the game. One time in the game I set all his positions to what a typical libertarian would support and it came out as Centrist. In the general election it listed the closest states in platform distance as Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado, which I think is about right. Now, granted, Johnson is a bit less hardcore than the typical libertarian and probably should come out as center-right, but still, adjustments to the three positions mentioned should make the states closest to his platform a bit more accurate.

    It would also be nice to see platform planks on Medicare and especially the War on Drugs in the game (medicare is covered somewhat by the Health Care issue I guess), but I realize they would probably be big additions. For the war on drugs the far left position could be blanket legalization, left could be legalize marijuana and regulate it like alcohol while looking into one day doing the same for other drugs, center left could be legalize medical marijuana and decriminalize all other users, centrist could be let the states decide and allow research for medical uses of soft drugs, center right could be maintain current drugs laws and increase enforcement, right could be force the states to comply with federal law and eliminate their medical marijuana programs, far right could be make it a capital offense to sell drugs or something like that.

    @DJP53916 –
    Jill Stein yes, Virgil Goode no. Unfortunately it looks like he’ll fall just short of 50% ballot access unless some lawsuit changes that. The biggest blow was that their traditional California affiliate, the American Independent Party (last descendant of George Wallace’s party he launched in 1968) decided to nominate someone obscure, denying Goode the ballot line in the largest state in the US. It’s rather ironic that when the CP nominates its most credible candidate, it achieves its worst ballot access since it was the U.S. Taxpayers party.

    (Lastly, to correct my first post once again, it was indeed Ed Clark running in 1980 with David Koch as VP, and they actually got 12% in AK, ahead of John Anderson.)

  26. One could also add in an issue called “Change” or something of the sort, referencing Obamas Hope and Change theme from 2008 and having republicans attack it and dems defending it.
    Also I (still) take issue with the profiles of candidates, Gingrich has a bombastic personality and would definitely be a 3 if not 4 on charisma. As he has a much larger personality than Romney does it does not make sense having Romney as a 4, he is either a 2 probably a 3.
    Obama is not as charismatic as he was in 2008 so Id place him as a 4 as well.

  27. Glad to see Stein being added in the future, however I still believe Goode should be as well.

    From my best estimate (using, I show Goode eligible for 346 electoral college votes in 2012. Yes, in many states, the CP candidate is shown as a “write-in” candidate, but it’s still mathematically possible.

    Here’s the States (EC Votes) I saw for Goode:

    AZ(11), CO(9), FL(29), ID(4), IN(11), IA(6), KY(8), LA(8), MD(10), MI(16), MN(10), MS(6), MO(10), NV(6), NH(4), NJ(14), NM(5), NY(29), NC(15), ND(3), OH(18), RI(4), SC(9), SD(3), TN(11), TX(38), UT(6), VA(13), WA(12), WV(5), WI(10), WY(3).

  28. I think scandals should make more of an impact on candidates and occur less often. While playing through 2016 as Thune, Chris Christie was constantly in scandals, yet it hardly had any effect. He remained steadily in the lead in many states. Also, I think Paul Ryan should be weakened a bit. With this being a hypothetical 2016 scenario where Romney loses to Obama, I doubt people would be very enthusiastic about a failed vp candidate from the previous election.

  29. I believe there should be county level results in the general election with exit polls and the like, would make the game lots more fun. Plus, I belueve we should be able to watch the vote come in during primaries! would make it a LOT BETTER. Thank you!

  30. I have another question or two.

    (This hasn’t come up yet, so I don’t honestly know).

    1. Is it possible for Maine and/or Nebraska to split up the awarding of Electoral College votes, as they currently are capable of doing in a “real election.”

    2. I realize this would pull away from the authenticity of the game and it’s intentions, but would it be possible for in the future to have an option available for the general election part of the game where all states could be set to a “Maine/Nebraska” set of Electoral College allotment? Not as a default setting, but as a way to customize the game some? Could provide for an interesting game play, in my opinion.

    Not a big deal if it can’t be done, but I think it would be pretty cool. Since most states don’t end up staying all red or all blue on election day, it actually makes some practical sense for the states to award EC votes similar to Nebraska and Maine.

  31. @DJP53916

    Yeah I was going by whether he was on or off and not by write-in status. If you count that then Rocky Anderson might possibly be eligible for 270 EC votes as well.

    It would be nice if Johnson and others were available for the 2016 scenario as well (or hypothetical 3rd party candidates).

  32. I’d have to look at Anderson more, to see if he’d meet the 270 threshold with write-ins, but if they’re eligible to have votes counted that way, then they’re eligible – at least mathematically – to win.

  33. If you do implement an earlier starting date to 2012 could you also increase how many times you can canpaign in a state also if you do this could you just as a trial run where you can choose when your candidate enters the race

  34. Just found a problem message popped up and said Santorum endorsed Gingrich then clicked ok and it said that santorum endorsed me playing as Perry

  35. I just noticed in the 2016 scenario that Bob McDonnell is said to have “won two straight terms as Governor of Virginia,” however this is currently impossible since Virginia is the only state in the U.S. that does not allow a governor to run for consecutive terms. If you’re looking to set somebody as governor in 2016, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), Lt. Governor Bill Bolling (R), and Mark Warner (D) are all possibilities. Even though Warner is a former governor, in VA governors can be elected to multiple non-consecutive terms. Bolling and Cuccinelli will face off in a state convention, whereas the Democrats will have a primary (no announced candidates yet, just speculation Warner might run). Cuccinelli is the favorite for winning the closed convention, although he’s less popular among the general electorate than Bolling.

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